Inuktun Sighting #7: No Rust for the Protected

Spotted recently in Nanaimo Harbour in downtown Nanaimo, British Columbia: two Inuktun Spectrum 90™ cameras that had just been brought to the surface after spending weeks submerged in salt water.

One was a little dirty, but mostly free of corrosion, while a second camera suffered significant corrosion, and even had sea life attached to it.

What gives?

Having seen what can happen when our aluminum cameras are used in salt water for extended periods of time, Inuktun staff travelled to nearby Nanaimo Harbour to perform an A/B corrosion evaluation of two of its cameras in an effort to provide a solution.

There, two steel mounted Spectrum 90™ cameras were submerged in salt water for 24 days and checked on periodically. The control camera was submerged with no anodes, while the second camera was fully protected with a three-anode system for 15 days. Upon inspection, no noticeable corrosion on the protected camera was revealed — although the base anode had lost about one-fifth of its mass, while the upper anodes had lost only two percent.

At this point, the upper anodes were removed and a new aluminum base anode installed. After nine more days submerged, the camera revealed a small amount of corrosion on the head, but none at the base.

As the above picture suggests, Camera A on the left fared far better than Camera B, our control camera. The unprotected camera showed increasing corrosion throughout the test and was thoroughly covered in corrosion by the end of the test. It even became home to a mussel.

As any boater knows — especially one used to sailing in both fresh and salt water — protecting your investment with the right anode is as important as keeping tabs on your credit card balance.

Since the Spectrum™ cameras cost as much as a nice boat, and aluminum is pretty cheap, make sure you contact us to get some anodes before any prolonged use in salt water.

Going forward, the experiment will allow us to pass on important information to customers, to help them preserve valuable equipment that is often exposed to a brackish or salt water environment.

Talk about the cost of diligence in engineering (we could have had two boats instead).

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